Machinery of government - guidance and information
Machinery of government refers to the structures of government and how they work.
Update 19 December 2013: The Government is changing the roles and functions of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to further enhance DIA's ability to deliver against a strong technology leadership and information management mandate. Further detail, including the Cabinet paper and Cabinet minute on the changes. is published here.
Machinery of government refers to the structures of government and how they work. It includes the changing set of organisations within government, their functions and governance arrangements, and how they work together to deliver results for Ministers and the public.
Adapting the machinery of government is important in responding to Government's policy priorities, environmental pressures and opportunities for better performance.
State Services Commissioner's function
The State Services Commissioner's machinery of government function is set out in section 6(a) of the State Sector Act as follows:
Functions of the Commissioner
The principal functions of the Commissioner are -
(a) to review the machinery of government across all areas of government, including -
(i) the allocation of functions to and between Departments and other agencies
(ii) the desirability of, or need for, the creation of new Departments and other agencies and the amalgamation or abolition of existing Departments and other agencies; and
(iii) the coordination of the activities of Departments and other agencies.
The State Services Commission works closely with other central agencies in delivering machinery of government advice. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet works to
ensure that the State sector responds to the Government's priorities, while the Treasury provides advice on financial matters, among other roles.
Staff in government departments should consult SSC at an early stage whenever machinery of government changes are being considered. SSC must be consulted on Cabinet papers that contain machinery of government advice (see CabGuide, http://cabguide.cabinetoffice.govt.nz).
How to review the machinery of government?
Guidance has been developed for public servants and other employees in the State services on Reviewing the Machinery of Government (www.ssc.govt.nz/reviewing-mog). It focuses on selecting the most appropriate organisational form when creating or amalgamating Departments and agencies.
Guidance on Factors for Successful Coordination - A Framework to Help State Agencies to Coordinate Effectively is available at www.ssc.govt.nz/state-services-coordination
Machinery of government reviews
Links to Cabinet papers and related information on some machinery of government reviews led by the State Services Commission are provided in the Related Resources section at the end of this page.
State Services organisations
A list of State Sector organisations, including departments, Crown entities, Offices of Parliament, State-owned enterprises as well as other categories, is available at www.ssc.govt.nz/state_sector_organisations.